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Ministers want polyclinics to offer abortion

By Lilian Anekwe

Early medical abortion could be among the services offered by polyclinics under new Government proposals.

The move follows a positive evaluation of a Department of Health pilot initiative aimed at improving access to abortion and making it available closer to where women live.

Pulse exclusively revealed in December the Department of Health's plans to run trials of early medical terminations in ‘non-traditional' settings.

The department's evaluation of the two pilot sites, published last week, found staff and women welcomed the increased availability that non-hospital settings offered and broadly supported moving early medical abortions into community medical settings.

The department is also considering offering another method of early medical abortion – menstrual aspiration – as well as the mifepristone and misoprostol tablets used in the trials.

Public health minister Dawn Primorolo said ‘polyclinic-type settings could offer a safe,

high-quality service for women'.

But a department spokesperson said the exact role of GPs in the process had yet to be determined.

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